The electric power drill was invented in 1889 by Arthur James Arnot and William Blanch Brain of Melbourne, Australia.
In 1917, Black & Decker patented the first pistol-grip trigger-switch electric power drill. That thing looks like it weighed a ton and was a wee bit top-heavy.
Thankfully, we have much more efficient drills today. The latest modern power-tool technology uses lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. I believe Milwaukee was the first to use these batteries in their power tools around 2005. Now just about all power-tool brands use the lithium-ion batteries.
How The Drill Kits Were Chosen
To make this list, each drill kit had to meet the following criteria:
- It needed to have at least 700 in lb of max torque.
- It had to come with at least 2 batteries.
- It had to have a charger and a carrying-case.
- It had to have a 1/2″ keyless chuck.
- It needed to be a cordless drill kit that was good for the money (in my opinion).
I spent at least 20 hours researching the latest offerings from several brands and also drew from my own personal experience with various cordless-tool brands. The complete cordless-tool system of the brand was also taken into heavy consideration.
See How We Determine Our Cordless Tool Picks for more information.
How The Tool Systems Brands Were Chosen
As you know, when you buy a cordless tool, you are not only buying just that tool but you are also buying into a cordless-tool system.
What I wanted to do here was pick 3 different tool-system usage scenarios and then pick the best drill for each scenario.
The 3 usage scenarios I came up with are:
- The homeowner that is into home-improvement and DIY
- The professional construction tradesman/contractor like carpenters, electricians, and plumbers
- The auto mechanic or a person that likes working on cars
And without further ado, here are our Editors’ Choice Best Picks:
Best 18V-20V High-Powered Drill Set For Home Use & DIY
Here is why I like this kit:
- The drill has a brushless motor and has a huge 1090 in lb of max torque.
- The 4.0Ah batteries reach full charge in 40 minutes or less.
- The drill has dual LED lights.
- The variety and breadth of the 18 volt Makita tool line is unmatched.
Makita makes a great variety of tools for their 18V LXT system that are useful to the homeowner. These tools include cordless:
- caulk guns
- drywall cut-out tools
- grass shears
- hedge trimmers
- work lights
- string trimmers
- and yes, even a cordless coffeemaker
and of course they have many tools for the construction trades as well.
I would also recommend the Makita 18V LXT system to the professional carpenter as well.
The reason is because Makita also makes the nice 36 volt XSH01Z Cordless Circular Saw and the 36 volt XSL02Z Dual-Slide Compound Miter Saw.
Instead of using a single 36V battery, these saws take 2 of the 18V LXT batteries and combines them to make 36 volts! The 36 volts gives you the extra power you need in a circular saw or a miter saw.
Best 18V-20V High-Powered Drill Set For Professional Contractors
The reasons I like this kit are:
- The drill has a brushless motor and best-in-class 1200 in lb of peak torque.
- The kit has 2 extended-capacity 5.0Ah batteries
- The tools have an industry-leading 5 year warranty.
The power of this drill is especially good for contractors such as electricians and plumbers that need to bore a lot of holes through studs and joists. It is always better to have more power than you need than to need more power and not have it. A good warranty is also important to professionals that depend on their tools.
The Milwaukee M18 cordless system has several tools aimed at electricians and plumbers. For electricians, they have various cable cutters, electrical crimp tools, and crimp dies. They also have knockout tools and accessories. For the plumber they have ProPEX expansion tools and press tools for pressing copper pipe.
Concrete drilling is also a strength of the M18 system. Milwaukee has several rotary hammers and dust-extraction attachments.
Best 18V-20V High-Powered Drill Set For Auto Mechanics
I believe this kit is a great choice for mechanics and people that work on cars. Here is what I like about this kit:
- Chuck has carbide jaws
- The side handle can rotate to almost any position
- The side handle has a depth rod
- superior build quality
Many professional mechanics use the Ingersoll Rand IQv cordless system. Ingersoll Rand has a great line of angle wrenches, ratchet wrenches, and impact wrenches that are specifically designed for mechanic work. There are no saws or other building-construction tools in the IQv line, so keep that in mind.
Specs and Information on These Cordless Drills
This section has links that go directly to the manufacturer’s product pages for the cordless drills recommended in this article.